Ships Ahoy

USS Von Steuben by Christy Berry

USS Von Steuben by Christy Berry

Greetings,

Well, now that school is done and I’ve set sail for my summer vacation I have time to actually write a post. Since my last post I had my fourth child; thus, the lack of time for posts. So my goal this summer is to write many posts, lesson plans, and have fun with my children.

Summer is also a time to reflect on the past school year. One of the best lessons that many of my students like was the final. This year the spring music program for the middle school had a theme of nautical music. I have student artwork that is hung with the music evening so the final project each trimester was to have the students create whatever they wanted with the idea that somehow it tied to the nautical theme. There were three main stages in the lesson: research/brainstorm, creating the art piece, and then final the essay/presentation.

It was really impressive when students were presenting their work. After the presentation classmates could ask questions about the artwork. They asked wonderful questions of the artist and the artist handled themselves beautifully in their responses. They were using art terminology and were able to describe their own process.   There were a couple of ways that I set up a “safe” environment for presentations. Here are a few tips:

  1. Explain/Discuss what an audience should do while somebody is presenting
    • Paying attention
    • Keeping their hands off of their own project
    • Keeping their bodies quiet
  2. Give the option to have a buddy/friend up there with them (they hold the artwork)
  3. Demonstrate how to present
    • Use a loud voice
    • Look at the audience
    • List all of the requirements for the essay
  4. Explain helpful and supportive questions/comments
    • Why did you choose the color blue?
    • What is this figure/object represent?
    • I like how you used a line to show movement, it really brings attention to that area.
  5. Invite students to ask questions of your artwork (be ready for some wild questions)
  6. Have everybody clap when students are done

While we were working on the final one sixth grade student told me that this was the easiest final he has ever taken. Students liked this lesson because they were able to choose whatever they liked. While students were working on their piece I created one of my own. I explained that the reason why I chose this piece is because my dad served on this sub when I was little and I remember seeing the pin he had when I was little. The materials I used were acrylic paint, a canvas and frame from Goodwill, and brushes.

If you would like the full lesson please click here the link to my teacher pay teachers.

Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

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